During Medicare's Annual Election Period, which runs through Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to make changes to their Medicare Prescription Drug or Advantage plans. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs' SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program is available to provide free, unbiased help for Florida Medicare beneficiaries as they carefully evaluate their health care options.
The open enrollment period is a sensitive time for beneficiaries because several pieces of personal information are needed to compare and enroll in plans. SHINE counselors through the West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc. provide free, unbiased, and confidential insurance counseling and community education regarding Medicare options and prescription drug assistance for elders, their families, and caregivers.
To receive help from SHINE to review and enroll in a plan, individuals may visit designated SHINE counseling sites, attend local enrollment events, or contact SHINE's trained volunteer counselors by calling the Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337.
For a listing of SHINE counseling sites and enrollment events, visit FloridaSHINE.org or call 1-800-963-5337.
Seven things to remember about SHINE:
1. SHINE does not sell anything.
2. SHINE does not employ insurance agents as volunteers or staff.
3. SHINE volunteers and staff receive a federal background check.
4. SHINE will not make an enrollment or other decision for you.
5. SHINE does not threaten or pressure individuals.
6. SHINE will not offer to come to your home.
7. SHINE does not make unsolicited phone calls.
Charlotte McHenry, President, CEO, West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc. Tampa